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Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.

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Us 30, Romney 13, Sandy 11, Fema 10, New York 7, America 6, United States 5, Chris Christie 4, Harlem 4, Christie 4, China 4, Chrysler 3, Citi 3, Obama 3, Melissa 3, George Bush 3, Legalzoom 3, Michigan 3, Ohio 3, Staten Island 3,
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  MSNBC    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and  
   discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.  

    November 3, 2012
    7:00 - 9:00am PDT  

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this morning, my question. what if mitt romney is the next president of the united states? plus, 5.4 million private jobs created. teaching students to be citizens. first, why sandy should make us ask, what is a disaster anyway? good morning. i'm melissa harris perry coming
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to you from horockefeller city, the new york city still reeling from the effects of superstorm sandy and her landfall earlier this week. today, 2.5 million people remain without power and at least 40 new yorkers have died in the storms aftermath. almost half of those deaths were in just one of the burroughs that make up the five burroughs of new york, staten island. now, this striking image was captured by an nbc producer and staten island. sandy's wake left the debris in the backyard of john della rosa's severely smashed home. smashed plates mingled with halloween decorations. overwhelmed by the devastation, rocked by the power of the storm, he is left to pick up the pieces of the storm surge which sent more than 8 feet of water into the neighborhood. he is also left to grieve the losses of his next door
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neighbors, the foundation and stairs are all that remain of the dresh family home. george dresh and his 13-year-old daughter, angela died, when the storm surge came through their home. george's wife and angela's mother, patricia, remain in the hospital. that is one story of devastation wrought by the hurricane on one street in one neighborhood in new york city. the immediate aftermath of the storm, president obama declared a large swath of the east coast as a major disaster area. neighborhoods brought to their knees by what we think of as mother nature's dispassion nat, impersonal force. they blow back the covers on the structural inequities and reveal the life and death consequences of the inequalities, slamming directly into the heart of one of the biggest metropolises. sandy racked the focus in a way that let's us see the differences. 21% of this city lives in
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poverty. on the island of manhattan, the wealthiest fifth make 40 times of the poorest fifth. a gap only surpassed by a few developing nations. this is a disaster we live with each and every day, the gulf between the rich and poor in this city was only exacerbated by the great reception. all of us are still living through a disaster brought on by the immediate devastation from the financial crash and housing crises. we have been living in a state of disaster since the financial storm racked our nation to its structural core. a housing cyclone that hollowed out more homes that hurricane katrina and sandy combined. the very definition of disaster needs broadening. we need to recapture the initial horror created by those single natural disaster and put it toward the relief of our on going national disasters. the energy gathered by gale force winds has the power to
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focus our public attention. superstorm sandy may help the electorate focus in the few days that remain in the 2012 presidential campaign. our vote on tuesday will be for a disaster manager and chief taking charge of a country in an economic state of emergency, building a society that leaves all of us more prepared for disaster. at my table is ari melber, msnbc contributor. norry tan dan, kate dawson and david rodi, a reuters columnist and contributor for the atlantic. thank you all for being here. >> i want to start with you. the article, the piece you wrote was about the inequalities that have been revealed in the con te context of sandy. >> i am one of the privileged new yorkers. there has always been divisions in the city but this storm
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brought them out more vividly than ever. i was able to go to a hotel. i was in a mandatory evacuation area. i went to this hotel. if you had wealth, you could shelter in a nice place i had. if you had a steady job, you didn't have to work. all around the hotel were restaurant workers that had no choice and stayed. there was a restaurant serving food two to three hours before landfall, maids in the hotel, a garage attendant, hadn't been able to reach his sister. i said, where did you spend the storm? he said he slept in his car. >> those images from staten island, particularly the stairs to nowhere, it is an iconic image of the lower ninth ward of those of us who lived in post-katrina new orleans where
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houses were knocked straight off their foundation. the stories you are telling are such reminders that when a storm comes at the end of the month. if you have a savings account, no problem, because you can put gas in your car and get food and get out of town. if it comes at the end of the month and you need to wait until the first of the month to get paid, you are never more broke than your at the end of the month. is there something we learn about the broader notion of what constitutes disaster. if we can take a step back from the immediate cause and learn something about what's happening underneath. >> i think as david mentioned, what's really happening here is we have these moments in time when a light is shown on these inequalities. we live with them all the time. in a moment where people are suffering, there is greater concern. people can look at it in a new light. is this a teachable moment.
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do we take this opportunity to say, when it comes to life and death choices, is it right some group of people have such constrained choices and others don't? i think that's what we have to think about in these issues, which is how do we address them, how do we insure there is action taken around them and we don't wait for the next disaster? >> for kate and for me, this is where the politics are. you hear, don't pol itisize thi. i want to listen to candidate romney talking about fema during a presidential debate. this is the key moment we all want to here. new studio. we don't have it this morning. i will read a bit of it. when he was asked about fema, mr. romney said absolutely every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal
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government and send it back to the state, that's the right direction. you can go further and send it back to the private sector. that's better. he talks about taking fema and divesting it into the states. yet, this week, i think that statement is many could go back to haunt him. is this more than anything a teachable moment for mitt romney? >> storms bring the best and the worst out in america. they both seem to show up during a natural disaster. a natural disaster is one that crosses a couple of states. i lived through hurricane hugo in 1989 and watched the politics of a hurricane. we were out of power. my business was down. for politicians, they have to be very careful. it can make or break a political career. this is where the american public expect the government to step up, not just for a couple of days or a couple of sound bites. right now, it is going to be the
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sound bites that will get us to this election. president obama has showed leadership. governor romney, i don't think there was a natural disaster while he was head of the state. it is a teachable moment. it is one where once you land in new york, you see the city is a little empty and people are fairly desperate and the desperation is just going to start. our hearts and prayers are from people that live in harm's way and people that live through katrina know what it is. the political ramifications could show up on tuesday. >> is this a moment when as much as we are talking about the politics in short-tem electoral politics, is this a moment where we can get through a broader political conversation? >> it is not just that mitt romney would point fema back to the state but the very notion of inequality, of that 47%, that that is what is revealed in this moment. >> i think that's right. the feeling you have when you see what you just showed, which
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is someone through no fault of their own being dealt the worst tragedy that can befall a human being. when you look at people through no fault of their own were born into tough circumstances. that is the feeling that animates a lot of modern liberalism. it is a feeling that conservatives do have sometimes although they talk more about other elements in society like churches or private charities stepping up. the church isn't going to solve this problem. there are big enough problems and inequalities that only government can deal with. what we have seen from the republican primaries, it is like seeing into someone. if they are courting you, they want to take you out and tell you how great they are and seal the deal. you get a portal into them talking to their friends. it turns out they sound different or they trash talk you. that's not always the case. to go to two moments, the one
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you showed and the one when congressman ron paul said, well, there really shouldn't be any help in the emergency. if you go to the e.r., you should be allowed to die rather than have government help. that was the republican mainstream position. the problem is that position that got applause in the republican primary is illegal, because a republican senate and the republican president, ronald reagan, signed a law saying you need the assistance. the feeling you go when you have in the e.r. or when you want fema to be there is a good feeling. >> we are going to come back. the picture of president obama and mitt romney's top surrogate, the guy he wanted to be his v.p. candidate, governor chris christie, that picture together said it all this week. sandy may have been the october surprise no one saw coming an important announcement. tune in for a special edition of our show, why women matter, live
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tonight at 6:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. look how small they were! [ husband ] transfer! [ male announcer ] free data transfer at home. you just deleted all the photos! you did! no you did! [ male announcer ] or free data transfer when you buy a windows 8 computer at staples. another way staples makes it easier to upgrade.
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we are here in democracy plaza home of nbc's 2012 coverage. thousands will gather here watching the results coming in. a map of the united states, states icing over in red or blue banners representing electoral votes will rise up in front of the billing as each campaign climbs towards 270. now, we turn back to the discussion of sandy. the drama of the storm, whether political or weather related is
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never without a protag goneist. this political see sorngs we were gifted with many. superstorm sandy, itself, had stolen the spotlight as the leading lady of this presidential election but a lot of political hay has been made this week from the storm's debris. cue the political troops. quick to the draw, they have rushed to announce the sandy effect. forget obama's katrina. this is october surprise named sandy. thankfully, in the last days, many have thoughtfully considered the role of a strong infrastructure and a stronger government. this helped us focus on the very real need for the kind of disaster planning and preparedness that only our government can provide. this morning, president obama said he remains focused as well. >> this continues to be my number one priority. there is nothing more important than us getting this right. we are going to spend as much time, effort, and energy that is
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necessary to make sure all the people in new york, new jersey, and connecticut know that the entire country is behind them. >> back to my panel, david, in the immediate moments after a disaster, with he feel like, oh, all victims are worthy and we have this rallying around the victim effect. how long does that last? should we expect in this context that some folks are going to be made into villains. >> that is going to happen. there is tremendous anger in staten island. the power is coming back on in manhattan. they are talking about november 10th for other people getting their power back. there is the same sense of inequality. yesterday, mayor mike bloomberg nearly blew it. this marathon decision was astonishing, incredibly foolish and insensitive. he is very stubborn. the details are that all the deputies and police commissioners said, do not hold
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this marathon. >> part of it is the optics of running through aasster zo disa and the other things are the generators and hotel workers, human beings that are also impacted by the storm. >> this is a test of government, in terms of both sides here. the government can still fail in the coming days. people are furious about this gas rationing now. in the '70s, odd license plates. chris christie said you can buy gas in new jersey on odd days, even license plates, even days. if all this delivery of gas doesn't happen, this could still backfire on the president. it is not an automatic thing for him. the government must perform or we are not through. >> the government optic is the chris christie embracing of president obama. i want to listen just for a moment to sort of how chris christie was talking on fox news channel about his interest in having the president and his
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disinterest in having mitt romney. >> is there any possibility that governor romney may go to new jersey to tour some of the damage with you? i have no idea nor am i the least bit concerned or interested. i have a job to do here in new jersey that is much better than presidential politics. i have a job to do. i have 2.4 million people out of power. i have devastation on the shore. i have floods in the northern part of my state. if you think right now i give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me. >> no better way to run for 2016 than to say i don't give a damn about presidential politics. i take him at his words but there is always a politics to this. >> can i start answering questions from you the way governor christie talks to fox? >> i don't give a damn about that. >> the question, to be fair to steve ducey, who asks a lot of bad questions. that was a straight question. prior to that clip, they were talking about the role of the
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president. to balance it out, he said, what about governor romney? it is not unusual within the traditions of our country to have the challenger engage. we do that on foreign policy. they get briefings. governor romney has been included and offered to talk to the management infrastructure. if governor romney were to win, there would be briefings before he became president. it was not a political question. i think it was a fair question. i think what we saw was governor christie's desire to show everyone how strongly he is a political, which, as you said, makes him look political. >> having worked for a lot of politicians, i don't think we should always read into everyone's motives. of yisly, there is politics. at the end of the day, chris christie is is aware of it. his number one priority has to be to people of new jersey that he is working on this. having an event with mitt romney
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would seem very political. i think he had the right response. maybe he was a bit more confrontational than i would be. the substance of this is the right one. the fact that we have politicians reaching across the aisle is something we should separate and start looking at their motives cynically. that's what also feeds distressed government. >> i would agree we should embrace this idea of a bipartisan moment. the fact is, it doesn't have to happen that way. living in louisiana with bobby jindal during the last hurricane, during isaac, when i lost a home, jindal refused to allow the president on the ground initially, embraced and accepted romney. it is not to say that there is a pure cynical motive on the part of him. >> bobby jindal looks much smaller today because of what
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governor christie did. >> we should note that earlier this morning, new york governor, andrew cuomo, announced the department of defense will be setting up gas distribution centers to help motorists. there will be a ten gallon limit. up next, the convention speech one-liner that mitt romney would rather we forget. ♪
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infrastructure and family are the same thing. back to my panel, david. >> after katrina, we started talking about category 5 levees. i kept thinking, the category 5 levees we need are shelter and quality education and health care for everybody and infrastructure and transportation so that people can move on. is there any possibility of taking that and making it a broader conversation, environmental policy or housing policy that makes it easier to manage this? >> i think there is. i agree with neera that people like this post-partisan moment. they are tired of partisan politics and nothing getting done. we need it all. we need education and infrastructure. bloomberg endorsed obama citing global warming as the cause.
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twice in the last 14 months, new york city has had to evacuate. that has never happened before in the city's history. all these things are in play. this has changed the dynamic. there is a sense we need to move on this. i wish we could have bipartisan agreement on how to move forward. >> it is tough to have bipartisan agreement when republicans keep being climate change designers and anti-science in a variety of ways. >> anti-science, we are still dealing with 46 million people on food stamps. we are still dealing with a 50% increase in the national debt and 100% increase in the gasoline price. now, in new jersey, they can only get 10 gallons. we are dealing with a lot of economic problems. >> part of what sandy tells us, yes, we are dealing with all of those things. that's not somehow separate about trying to get a laugh line by talking about the rising ocean. >> everybody wants to see c-130s
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unloading electric trucks to help them. they expect the government to show up. it is what level the government takes irresponsibilities. not enough time to see what this storm has done. >> if we keep thinking of government's response as only about response after the fact rather than thinking about the money that is saved and the policies and the fairness associated with doing disaster planning through fair governorer nance in the first place. >> you are talking about wanting a cop to do on the job. what melissa is talking about is funding the cop, training the cop, making sure we have the right cops. that's a policy discussion. it goes deeper than this disaster. the problem i see is that i think conservatives have brain washed a lot of what i would call the political class into right-wing rules for disasters
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that require liberal reforms. whether there is a school shooting, it is to talk about gun control. when there is a disaster, it is time to call about structural inequality attacks. this is so baked in that if you watch a lot of sunday shows and other networks, you will hear that stated not as an idea or a concept but as a premise that to talk about big government right now would be to somehow abuse the disaster. i think it is the opposite. we live in a democracy. when we have problems, we deal with infrastructure and politics. >> here is what's sad about the moment we live in. we have 0% interest rates, essentially. this is the opportune times to have investment in infrastructure. we are growing but we could use
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more jobs. this would be a way to employ more people. the president has had an infrastructure proposal before the congress. they won't act on it. that's what's depressing about our politics. even things across the aisle. we are looking at a situation where we are going to have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars instead of spending the $10 billion or $15 billion to protect us. that's what's depressing about it. it is like common sense notions are politicized in a way you can't get access. >> i hear depressing but it also feels deeply strategic in the way ari was talking about. these sort of infrastructure investments have been acceptable. as long as they are happening through capitalism. there are people that profit and jobs to be had and infrastructure to be built after these disaster but it is
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overwhelmingly not the public sector that end up doing it but the storm chaser disaster capitalists. david rohde, i appreciate you being here. the rest are back for more. before we go to break, i do want to acknowledge one little thing. many of the visuals created by sandy are traumatic and upsetting. there was one image that emerged in the story of sandy. the woman next to new york mayor michael bloomberg. lydia grew up in a deaf family and is the mayor's new sign interpreter. we have been talking about inequality and the mayor did one thing right. he kept lydia next to him. some have criticized her animated style but those of us here in nerdland love it, because in time of crisis, communication is key. kudos for lydia to even know how to sign with a new york accent. stay with us. my weekly trip to the post office is next. i have a letter to send to that
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this week, many made comparisons to the federal response to superstorm sandy to that of the bush administration following hurricane katrina. none was more stunning than that of former fema chief, michael brown. so stunning i thought it deserved an open letter. dear michael, it is me, melissa. you won't mind if i call you bro brownie. i feel you have a few choice words for president obama about his response to hurricane sandy. you actually said, one thing he is gonna be asked is, why did he
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jump on the hurricane so quickly and go back to d.c. so quick? actually, no. no one is going to ask the president of the united states why he responded so quickly to an unprecedented weather event threatening millions. why? because while it is bad manners to show up early for a dinner party, it is a great idea to show up early to disaster response. i am a little taken aback that you don't already know this after you and your boss, wfrm"w fumbled the response to hurricane katrina. the report reads fema's efforts to support state emergency management and to repair the federal response and recovery were insufficient for an event of hurricane katrina's magnitude. your agency was described as overwhelmed the first week after landfall. maybe they overwhelmed because you, the director, were given full authority to respond to katrina on august 27th but
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didn't request homeland security workers for four hours after katrina hit on the 29th. maybe it was your decision to only send 100 buses to louisiana after the national guard requested 700 for evacuations or maybe it is because in the midst of a crisis, you were busy sending cute e-mails to your staff about your clothing choices and joking, i'm trapped now, please rescue me as new orleans was actually trapped without food or water. so remember when two days after katrina hit and a fema employee told you the situation is past critical and listed problems, including many people near death and food and water running out at the superdome, your entire response was, thanks for the update, anything specific i need to do or tweet. it is not all your fault. you never should have been in that role. after all, you had no experience or qualification, having been a lawyer for the international
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arabian horse association, which is perhaps why president obama, unlike your boss, chose an experienced disaster manager to head fema. craig fugate was the director of the florida division of emergency staff. his experience, in 2004, fugate managed the largest federal disaster response in florida history as hurricane's charlie, francis, ivan and gene all pummeled the state in quick succession and he was even a volunteer firefighter and paramedic. you see, brownie, president obama didn't begin preparing for sandy on sunday. he started in 2009 when he appointed a qualified responsive leader to manage fema. jarvis writing for my home site asked this pointed question. if a reporter comes calling with a question for comment, why would you even answer the phone? i thank you for your
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intervention into public discourse. it is a reminder of the stark and important questions we are facing in this election. pick another bush who will put someone like you for national vulnerability or reelect president obama. one of your famous katrina e-mails you asked, can i quit now? the answer is yes, yes, please, quit now. sincerely, melissa. my doctor told me calcium is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi® card
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some of you out there in nerdland will hate to ask the question but it must the be asked. what if? what if mitt romney wins? for starters, he is going to have one very, very busy first day. >> on day one of my administration, i will label china a currency welfare.
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we will say yes to keystone pipeline. >> my presidency will be a pro-life presidency. i will get rid of obama care day one. i will repeal obama care on day one with all the energy i can muster. >> all right. so we are dgoing to take mitt romney at his word. he will get all of that done on his first day in office. what about the next four years? what would a romney presidency really look like. joining me to nothiprognosticati melber, neera tanden, kate ton
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dawson. let's start with the tax plan. if there is something i believe mitt romney is invested in doing, it is the tax plan. he claims it is revenue neutral. >> you have to claim certain things. this goes for both sides. there is this thing called business cycle. this is what we study. in a free market economy, recessions and recoveries, upswings and down swings are part and parcel of the world we live in. when you look at how budgets are proposed, off of the congressional budget office projection. they are not that realistic. in 2014, 2015, 2016, they are projected real gdp growth of 4.4%. sounds pretty good. how realistic is it? if you take a look at reality, what's happened since the beginning of the century?
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gdp has grown at 1.7% and we know we are in a pretty sluggish economy. there is a huge disconnect between what's proposed and what's going on outside this window? >> that's the big deal. the claim is, i'm going to go in and cut taxes. don't worry, cutting taxes is going to be stimulative. we are going to end up with way more jobs and there will be fewer taxes from each individual. there will be way more people paying into the tax system. revenue neutral. lakshman is telling us you have a choice over how much you charge people in taxes. they may not produce all the jobs. what he is doing on day one is adding to the deficit. >> could be but let's go back to 1980 and ronald reagan. changed tax policy, a similar situation to now. i don't know many people who trust washington to have any more money to spend. >> i think reagan is a great example. he did cut taxes and we had
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exploiting deficits in 1980s. >> then he raised them. >> then he raised them. we do also have another example from the 1990s, which is president clinton, who had a balanced budget. he asked the wealthy to pay more. the rates went up to 39.6. we had eight years of very strong growth. >> including surplus. >> i'm not saying the taxes cause that but we know that having higher taxes on wealthy americans didn't lead to a recession as republicans have argued. that's what's really daunting about the whole discussion about taxes. the fact that we have no real idea what mitt romney will do on taxes as president other than if we take him at his word, it does mean that middle class americans will pay more in taxes. either he is not being honest with us or middle class americans will see a tax increase. that's the choice people have. >> he also seems to be threatening us a little bit. ari, i want you to respond to this. let's listen to mitt romney who seems to be threatening that if
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president obama is reelected that republicans are going to take us over the fiscal cliff. let's listen to this. >> unless we change course, with he may well be looking at another recession. you know that if the president is reelected, he will still be unable to work with the people in congress. he has ignored them. he has attacked them. he has blamed them. the debt ceiling will come up again and shut down and default will be threatened. >> the debt ceiling will come up again. it just will happen. it is just this thing that will transpire and destroy the president's second term. the debt ceiling doesn't just come up. there is a process by which congress votes to raise it and has done so as everyone may remember from the last terrible fight under presidents for both parties. this is the first time the hostage crisis got this bad. got so bad that many serious economic voices, including prominent republicans in this town went really hard on thouse
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republicans. what did the debt ceiling does is deal with the spending decisions congress has already made, both parties. there were some republicans that were really bad and irresponsible and some that tried to walk it back from the brink, including a lot of republican constituents. the problem here is what you aring is the most irresponsible type of approach to an election, threatening to do bad things to the economy and the country. during a recession in order to get your political outcome. >> a slight thing on the framing also. somehow one policy or another will avert a recession. >> that's kind of naive. we have 222 years of business cycle history for the united
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states. we have had 47 recessions. none of them were welcome. all of them people tried to avoid. the idea that one policy or another will push a reception off indefinitely is also naive or that if a certain policy will bring one on. it doesn't work that way. >> or one politician versus another one. >> i have to disagree with this a little business. government policy can exacerbate recessions. look what's happening in great britain. they are going into a double dip reception. if you look at policies, mitt romney, the first thing that mitt romney and paul ryan are going to do is adopt a budget that is going to take mop aney of the economy, take it from seniors and they support a variety of proposals. it is not like you can't have a double dip recession.
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>> i am agreeing that it is probably more likely than anyone here may admit. >> it may not be easy to drag it out. >> the government can make it happen. >> let's stay on the sub. i want you to talk about that stimulative impact of government versus this possibility of austerity creating this recession. i also want to talk about the other thing that mitt romney just might send us back to if he really gets a chance when we come back. [ female announcer ] a classic meatloaf recipe from stouffer's starts with ground beef, unions, and peppers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. let's fix dinner. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived.
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we are awaiting president obama's campaign appearance in ohio. we have been discussing what a romney administration would look like should he win. i need a little disclaimer for the church crowd that believes he can speak things into being.
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i am not trying to manifest a romney win. i think we better know what we are facing. here is a new ad that the obama campaign has put out just on the web. it hints at just how bad a romney white house could be for some of us. >> back in washington, the supreme court decided it would hear arguments in a case as a vehicle for reversing roe v. wade which they say is all but certain in the wake of president nominee joining the high court. the ad goes on for about three minutes. it is kind of this fake news report of what 100 days into a romney presidency looks like. it includes the massive deficit but also the possible overturn of roe v. wade, the end of epa, all of these other kind of social issues, the social security voucher system. realistically, presidents don't have complete control over the
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economy despite the fact that retro voters hold them accountable. he is going to put someone on the supreme court. he has indicated that would be someone that would overturn roe v. wade. he has intdicated he wants to ct taxes. katon, did you want to? >> certainly, i do. when we talk about 1300 days, let's talk about the last four years. at the end of the day, this election and what's happened this week and happened this morning is this storm and hurricane has taken libya off the table. it has taken the 23 million people out of work off the table. it has taken 46 million people on food stamps right before the table right before an election. that's the political frame of what's going on here. >> in the last four years. >> our base is motivated out there and so is the base of the president on the supreme court justices. i've always said, turn out. we don't have to worry about our
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bases. they are showing, 23% of america has already voted. a lot of people cast the vote before the storm came up. this election is hinging in the balance. ohio certainly. >> i don't want to miss. in the last four years, i have not at any point lost my right to choose or use health insurance to cover birth control pills. those are very real issues on the table right now. >> i first want to just touch on some of the issues you mentioned which is that this is a great example. 23 million people around unemployed. this is something that mitt romney says. it is not true. we have an underemployment problem. the truth is, if you compare the last four years shl, we have 5. million private sector jobs that beats the record of the previous eight years. we have business cycle challenges and growth challenges. we should continue to work on those. we are facing a choice in this election, which is what to do over the next four years.
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the challenge is mitt romney has adopted policies that are unfortunately to the right of where george bush was on tax policy. he is a more conservative tax policy at this point than george bush did. so that's the choice that people face. it is true. i think people should vote on issues like choice because the reason why we have women engaged so much in this election, is because republicans made issues like contraception controversial. young women who have not been motivated to vote are voting, because they never thought birth control would be a political issue. that happened because republicans attacked it, not democrats. >> i absolutely agree with you on why women matter. that's why we are doing a whole special at 6:00 tonight on exactly this issue of why women matter. coming up, the slow and steady comeback of the u.s. economy. there is some undeniable evidence that there is a roux he coverry. is it enough? what is next? that's what we come back. [ male announcer ] do you have the legal protection you need?
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with every personalized document to answer any questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected. welcome back. we are awaiting president obama in ohio. we will take you there when the president is on the stage. three days before the election, the candidates are going in hard and making their closing economic arguments to the american people in light of the latest jobs numbers reports. we could argue until we are blue in the faces about what voters care about most but the economy has been undeniably and is going to continue to be the dominant issue of this election. the latest jobs report that while the unemployment rate had an uptick from 7.8% to 7.9%, total nonfarm payroll increased by 171,000 jobs in october. for president obama, the glass
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is half full. >> today, our businesses have created nearly 5.5 new jobs. this morning, we learned that companies hired more workers in october than at any time in the last eight months. >> yes, progress under president obama has been slow and sometimes frustratingly so but it has been steady. there has been progress. still, for mitt romney, the glass is half empty. >> he said he was going to lower the unemployment rate down to 5.2% right now. today, we learned that it is actually 7.9% and that's 9 million jobs short of what he promised. unemployment is higher today than when barack obama took office. >> if you haven't heard by now, and i can't imagine how you haven't heard by now, in regards to what mitt romney says he is going to actually do, he has got a five-point plan for you. >> people across the country are responding to our five-part plan to create jobs. part one, as you know, is about taking full advantage of our
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energy resources. second, i'm going to move to boost trade, especially with latin america. third, i am going to send to congress the retraining reform act. to make sure every worker can get the skills and chance for a good-paying job. fourth, i will move to can tale out of control spending. i am going to act to boost small business an all business. >> what the american people will have to decide on tuesday is whether it is worth it to stay the course or choose an unknown path. big on problem. shore on specifics. in 2008, we as an electorate decided the change was good, given crisis averted and progress made since then, is it the right course now. to paraphrase, don't change horses in mid stream. back to my panel. ari, you have made the argument before, that being a businessman is not the same thing as being a good adviser to the economy or leader to the economy in a
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government role. is that what we are seeing, a mismatch? >> that is a problem for mitt romney. this is the republicans best argument, reality based, identifying a problem that we are all experiencing. it is a very real problem. it is not one the president can dispute. it is their best argument. john dewey always said, a problem well-stated is a problem half-solved. we do agree, we must agree that the jobs crisis is one of the core policy choices of the era we are live willing in and perhaps for some time. that's number one. number two goes back to the segment we just did on romney. what does the romney era look like? there, i have to echo neera. what is your solution to the problem? you just played the five points. they do not deal with domestic spending in a way that most economists think will jump-start jobs. republicans have some economists and studies on their side. there are studies out that show
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what the republicans have managed to do with the power they are wielding has actually raised unemployment by a full point. that's many, many jobs because of the crackdown on all these state governments. >> let's look at exactly that. this is just point about what government does, can, in fact, make a difference in our economy. when you look at these public versus private sector jobs, to the extent that this has been modest growth, it is mostly modest. we are constantly offsetting growth in the private sector with a decrease in the public. the idea that governor doesn't create jobs, if only republican governors would allow these jobs to stay and be created, we would be seeing a morrow bust growth. >> we would have 700,000 more jobs. the unemployment rate would be much lower if we hadn't had all these cuts over that's last couple of years from the private sector, from the public sector. when we are looking at these
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issues, we should really look at not just public sector versus private sector, i am happy to say private sector jobs is a good measure for us. what challenges the romney/ryan budget is something that would cut jobs. when you are taking that much money out of the economy, when you are cutting programs across the board, that does have affect. if you cut people's ability to pay rent, then they have -- it has a negative consequence on the economy. >> this is really the key of what's going on right now. it is somewhat unusual. now, what a down turn is, what a business cycle downturn is, it is not about gdp. it is about production, it is about jobs, which is still growing but underwhelming. it is about income and it is about sales. when we look -- >> because we are a consumer-driven economy. >> we are consumer driven. these are things that tell you where you are in the business cycle. how much are you producing, how
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many people are working, how much are they making and how much are they buying? these four things tog, we can look at them. it is hard to measure them so they get revised a lot. >> sure, sure. >> things get moved around. right now, when you look at those four things, what you see is that you've got ease in three out of four. the only one bucking the trend at the moment is jobs. so the problem is they tend to move together when you look at these patterns. the thing is, what are the patterns here? then, when we talk about all these other policies and different expansions, you had an eight-year expansion with reagan, a ten-year expansion with clinton, very different policies. we had an almost seven-year expansion with bush. here we are 3 1/2 years and what it tells us is that the length of these expansions is getting shorter, not because of any
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particular policy. that's a pattern that is going on now, which is something that troubles us here at home. it is something that troubles developed economies. this is a serious policy issue, which is going to basically have to deal with high unemployment almost no matter what. >> it can't be addressed simply by saying, china, you are behaving badly. we are in a global crisis. >> you are talking about turning the titanic. >> as i listen to you, i'm feeling a little bit of the angst that many of us felt in 2008. >> it is not that bad. >> i have been walking around for a month with this article, "the new york times" on october 2nd of 2012. it is bob draper with the mitt romney who might have been. it is this claim in this reporting that romney was in the room along with john mccain when they were getting the reporting. this is p as bad as we can
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imagine it being. it was connifusing and complicated. he, like everyone else, found it confusing and tough. more than anything, part of what i am yearning for from the republicans, katon, is the sense of complexity. it is hard work. there is not one single policy that impacts such a complex economy. >> there is not one single party that is going to get it done. >> i think you just framed the election for me and a lot of other people. how big do we want our government to be? you talk about increasing jobs. how big of a government can we afford. >> if it is teachers, i would like it to be very big. >> i have my sister back home that would like that also. my point is, this is the choice america is making. how big of a government, not do we want but can which afford? that gets to a liberty versus
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conservative argument. policies and all this other stuff gets stuff in the weeds. do we want more government jobs? that becomes a real thing. >> you do. i'm sure i don't. i want more private sector small business opportunities and entrepreneurs that have a chance to live the american dream. >> this is the great irony. if you look at private versus public sector jobs, we just talked about the expansion in the bush years, as you know, that came from government spending. all the job growth for the first six years -- let me just answer you. all the job growth essentially from 2000 to 2006 was public sector jobs. it was a giant expansion of the government. you have inverted. president obama has increased private sector jobs. we have lost public sector jobs. his proposals aren't about expanding the government. his proposals are actually insuring that middle class families have what they need to
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grow. >> when we come back, we are going to talk about one sector of the private sector in particular that has been an important part of our politics. that is the car. we are going to take our focus to the battle for the auto vote in ohio. the latest whopper that mitt romney is using to curry favor. [ female announcer ] beef, meet flavor boost. flavor boost, meet beef. it's swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth to add delicious flavor to your skillet dish in just one stir. mmm! [ female announcer ] cook, meet compliments. get recipes at flavorboost.com. [ female announcer ] cook, meet compliments. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores.
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welcome back. we are here in democracy plaza, home of nbc's 2012 coverage. thousands will gather here on election night. the skating ring will hold a map of the united states with states
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icing over in red and blue. we are going to have red and blue banners that will rise up in front of the building as each campaign climbs towards 270. why 270? that's how many electoral college votes you need to be president. right now, the key one is ohio, which is why we are going to talk about mitt romney's closing argument for the auto industry. he says he is going to be better than president obama. >> who will do more for the auto industry? not barack obama. fact checkers confirm his attacks on mitt romney are false much the truth, mitt romney has a plan to help the auto industry. he is supported by lee iacocca and the detroit news. obama took gm and chrysler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler to italians that are going to build jeeps in china. >> romney's new ad running in ohio claims that president obama took gm and chrysler into
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bankruptcy. interesting. because romney preferred a managed bankruptcy for the car companies. he claimed that jeeps are going to be built in china by italians. the ceo of chrysler found that whopper too much to bear and issued a statement to say, . >> who will be best for the auto industry? it may not be the guy whose car ad is full of holes. joining me from detroit is jonathan cone. >> thanks for having me on. when we talk cars, i get out my transformers and have this whole thing about president obama being optimist prime.
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is the car issues going to be the thing that turns ohio voters? >> it is a huge issue. in ohio, 1 of every 8 jobs is tied to the auto industry. the voters there, they understand how important the auto rescue, the obama's decision to provide chrysler and g.m. loans. they know how important that was. people forget now but 2008, 2009 when g.m. and chrysler were on the verge of collapse, the idea of saving them. it was not very popular. the voters were tired of bailouts. a lot of democrats were saying, the auto industry, it has all kinds of problems. it is just not worth saving. >> which is how you end up with mitt romney saying, let detroit go bankrupt. at that time, he is going with public sentiment, go ahead, let detroit go bankrupt. >> exactly. he was sort of riding the wave at that time. we have seen from mitt romney,
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he has an acute sense of what he thinks voters want to hear. he gives them that. he was saying, look, let's let them go. i think the voters of ohio understand that president obama said i am not going to let this backbone of american manufacturing collapse. i am not going to let 1 million people lose their jobs. i think the voters of ohio, the voters of michigan, i think they remember that. i think they say, look, this is a president who cares about us. he is a president who understands how our economy works and he is a president who when it was tough, when it was unpopular, when everybody was against this, he stood up for us. that's not just a policy judgment. it hits at an emotional level that this is a guy that cares about us. that helps explain why even when president obama's poll numbers after that denver debate, they were looking a little shaky. they held up pretty well in ohio. you look at it and think, that has got to be the auto rescue. >> the latest nbc marist poll is
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showing that the president is holding a fairly sizeable lead in ohio, about six points at this point. most folks are indicating that's because he has a better margin with white male voters in ohio than he does anywhere else in the country at this time. that's probably related to the cars. i want to bring in ari melber for a moment. we were chatting about this before. this is one time when maybe progress sives are down with a corporation spending money on political ads. >> we have had a lot of talk about speech and corporate personhood and these interesting doctrinal questions. if you want to say corporations shouldn't have the free speech and spending rights that others have, you wouldn't have them able to come out and robustly engage in the political process. they are free under current law to speak close to an election which was restricted under mccain fine gold and was wiped out under the supreme court.
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that is not always bad in the same way that when michael moore speaks, he speaks through the mere an height corporation to make 911. >> the value is that they are speaking about something they have deep knowledge, because it is about themselves. >> absolutely. i support and on record for public financing and the fair elections now bill in the senate. when we go a step further beyond public financing, this is a good example where more speech is good for the political process. >> it fact checks romney in this case. >> there was nothing that wouldn't have allowed sergio marchiaonni to issue a statement. >> if they wanted to do anything like run a full page ad, which corporations have done, if they felt that because they were being attacked on tv, they wanted to respond on tv, they are free to do that. >> they are not doing that.
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>> he ran the op ed in the paper, right? if he wanted to buy that space, that's a very fine grain distinction. my point is, they are freer to speak morrow bustly. >> just on the broader issue, i think you learn a lot about campaigns and what's moving by both sides. clearly, when mitt romney runs a g-bad like that, it is clearly false. he knows the auto industry is clearly hurting him and he has to go on offense. this goes to jonathan's point. we know the auto bailout is a big issue in ohio because of mitt romney's ads. the problem for him is that it's a challenge to do a demonstrably false ad. there is a negative consequence to this. when you do an ad like this, you get days and days of newspapers attacking you. >> pinocchio stands on fire, all of that thing. >> you have cleveland and cincinnati papers, front page
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articles saying he is not telling the truth about this. it has been a high-risk strategy. i don't know if ohio has gone from 3 to 6 as the polls seem to indicate. i think the risk he took in being dishonest bawas a bad ris for him to take. >> what is it that you are hearing personally on the ground in the midwest right now? >> well, you know, you talk to people and, you know, again, i think it is a question of who they think will stand up for them? they look at a guy like mitt romney. he is running around saying, hey, i'm from michigan. i'm a car guy. well, yeah, he is a car guy. his dad owned the car company. being a car guy means understanding what it is like to work in a factory. it means understanding what people who are looking at their jobs and wondering if they are really going to go overseas, what that feels like. i think that's one of the ironies here, is that by raising this, something so obviously
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false, he scared the bejeezus out of people. i think people don't like that. it is funny. he cites in his ad the detroit news. they did endorse him. people think he is using them as a political pawn. >> the 47% does not like to have the bejeezus scared out of us. thank you to jonathan cohn in michigan. up next, what warning we should take from sandy for our future. tune in for why women matter at 6:00 p.m. eastern. you are not going to want to miss it. i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin. [ designer ] enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin.
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i also want to thank the
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president who granted a request we made which will increase people's food stamp allocation by 50%. let's give the president a round of applause for that. that was new york governor, andrew cuomo, speaking earlier this morning at the national guard food distribution site for victims of hurricane sandy. it is the most recent reminder that the greatest economic closing arguments that candidates can make is how they are going to prepare for the future. lakshman, you have been saying earlier, here is a moment in disaster relief. as much as republicans have hammered on food stamps. here it is, this is going to feed hungry people. >> to the broader point. can government step in and make a difference to the shape of the business cycle, absolutely. so during the great recession, you saw the former president
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obama -- bush. he had a bailout. the business cycle overwhelmed it. you had rate cuts going on out of the federal reserve. obama continued that kind of intervention and specifically here with autos we were just talking about. that's a strategic issue for the nation. lots of countries want to build cars. it is important for us to be able to do it too. these were all really critical interventions that probably it is hard to prove it counter-factual but probably kept the great recession from being something worse. >> this point of it being hard to count it counter fak u, yes, i know things are bad but, boy, they could have been terrible. sandy is sort of a reminder. this is how bad things can be. in this case, here you have a governor saying, thank you, mr. president for increasing access to food stamps. now, he is in war. people have more food stamps. the difference is this is a
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national tragedy. >> the presidential power of the purse. he is able to give money away. whether it is right, wrong, or indifferent, i am not going to eliminate that pain. i don't think you will see that as an issue they increased it. it is an issue we have 314 million americans and 46 million are using food stamps to help supplement. this is just math. the dignity that's involved in trying to get a job. we are talking about, is this election going to be about jobs or about camouflage? >> let's push on that. you say, this is a national tragedy. in this case, the extension of food subsidy benefits is not something that is likely to become a partisan political issue. the very fact that we are coming out of a part of the business cycle where we had this deep recession where people were hungry feels to me like from the
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very beginning, how do we define disaster. that was a disaster. the president needed to make available greater access to food. >> what was going on isn't over. >> this election is going to solve it. we are going to elect somebody and we will move forward, move backward, lean forward or get crossed. >> this is something that's been going on for a quarter century. a lot of us are framed by what we remember the economy was in the last couple of decades. i think that is history. we are not there. we have left that. we are not in kansas anymore. >> the '90s are done. >> we are in a different world. a global world, a competitive world. you need to figure out how policywise from both side, how are you going to change that growth pattern? on one hand, something with taxes. on the other hand, something with spending. if you don't figure that out. if we don't figure that out, we
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have a long time of unemployment cycling around at high levels. >> i want my government to intervene in those. >> i have to say, these arguments that food stamps have gone up and we have unemployment, you are absolutely right. we are still dealing with the aftermath of the great recession. what was the great recession. it was a decision. it was affected by decisions by the government to deregulate and let things go in a way that many people around wall street now would recognize was wrong. >> a couple of big bubbles. you had a tech bubble followed by housing. >> the housing publ wbubble wasu listen to republicans part as well. >> this whole conversation about the food stamps increasing and unemployment increasing and things aren't good enough, republicans got us into this mess. they did. george bush wasn't doing what he needed to do and the accusation against president obama is that
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he hasn't fixed it fast enough. >> does the voter have the tolerance to keep waiting? does this voter -- >> we are not going to have much longer. this tuesday is election day. thank you to lakshman achuthan. when we come back, the myths and lies we teach other kids. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us. introducing the business smart inkjet all-in-one series from brother. easy to use, it's the ultimate combination of speed, small size, and low-cost printing.
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at legalzoom, we've created a better place to turn for your legal matters. maybe you want to incorporate a business you'd like to start. or protect your family with a will or living trust. legalzoom makes it easy with step-by-step help when completing your personalized document -- or you can even access an attorney to guide you along. with an "a" rating from the better business bureau legalzoom helps you get personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorney is available with every personalized document to answer any questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected. next week as voting age adults cast a ballot, many of our fellow citizens, under 18 will pretend to vote in mock elections. students will be engaging in a
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kind of make-believe that often passes for real education. students understanding of themselves as citizens is grounded in the mythical stories that we tell ourselves. they are myths that begin with in 1492, columbus sailed the ocean blue and tell how the pilgrims and indians gave thanks for a bountiful harvest over a turkey dinner but none of the lessons prepare students to deal with the duty which they will be charged with as american adults, how to become responsible citizens. joining my panel is seth andrew, founder and superintendent of democracy prep, public schools. i want to move our conversation a little bit. this close to the election, what i want to talk about as a teacher is not just what's going to happen in this election but what's going to happen going forward. when i was looking at these tests of national civic knowledge, i was completely freaked out. may of 2011, fewer than 5% are demonstrating advanced levels of
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knowledge. what kind of social studies are we teaching? >> we have a crisis when we think of the actual knowledge of our o our electorate. we have kids that get out of school and they can't determine truth from lies. we have to rethink civic education in america in a dramatic way. we think about civic knowledge often and what it takes to build civic knowledge. we need to be creating civic dispositions. the habits of individuals coming out of school who actually know what it takes to be a good citizen and become engaged in civic life for the rest of their lives. >> is one of the reasons we have trouble telling the difference between myth and fact or between good arguments and poor ones about our civic culture? because we lie to kids so much early on, on the one hand, i get that you need to know the story
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first before you can deconstruct it. you need to know the columbus story before you can go back and say, that's not how it went down. abraham lincoln freed the slaves but not quite. do we just teach the lies and the myth and it is easy for a politician to repeat those myths later. >> let's start with this. we have to teach kids to read. our public schools are in a similar crisis. our students are not able to read or think critically at the foundation. if you take the lies and the history books that may or may not be correctly based on the reality of history or skewed in one way or another or put together by a text book publisher, you are not looking at the core issues. what we have tried to do is say, let's get to the core issues. how do we build kids that are critical thinkers and readers and look at issues and deconstruct them and understand the negatives of any individual case that is being made in the public realm and make their own cases? we work hard to build those
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civic dispositions and then turn to authentic skills. if you have the dispositions and the skills you need to be a good citizen, the knowledge is easy to attain. if you can read, you can understand what you need to learn about history. that's something we are focused on in all the wrong directions. >> it is interesting you make this point. i was looking at the fact that governor january brew brewer af hb-1081 which stripped the arizona schools of ethnic solidarity courses, african-american history and latino history. the democracy prep is a predominantly african-american school in harlem. is there a way as your trying to get young people involved for helping them get that critical world view on their own nation. >> people use it is as an excuse. we have a black president. you can't say, i can't relate to politics because there aren't people like me in office. there are now.
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the question is the quality of our public schools. with our kids, we try to focus on that leelreally early. so they can say, how can i become an engaged citizen when i'm an adult? our kids are out doing, get out to vote campaigns. they are out there doing a campaign called, i can't vote but you can. you will see them in harlem with their bright yellow shirt saying, i can't vote. they want to let people know, today is election day. 40% of americans are not going to turn out on tuesday despite all that we are talking about. >> i am going to bring the rest of my panel back in as soon as we come back. as we go to break, i want you to take a look at seth's kids from democracy prep harlem campus teaching all of us about civil responsibility. ♪
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welcome back. we have been discussing the content of what we teach our children to help them grow up to be constructive and productive citizens on democracy. has high-stake testing killed social studies? are you making a claim that the testing is the most important? i keep thinking i think politics is fascinating. how can they know so little? >> i think performance pressure on teachers sets up really weird incentives. we don't want teachers to be
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productivity machines. i believe as much about the bottom 10% as the top 10%. the testing from no child left behind is concerning to a lot of us. i didn't know what you were doing. i always learn something watching melissa harris-perry. one of the programs that jumped out is there is a lot of stupidity in how our elite deals with politics. after the health care, a lot of the coverage was, how are people reacting? there were a lot of polls, did people support or oppose the health care opinion? i'm not talking about politics but how people felt about a decision of the supreme court that was going to become law of the land. there was one poll that asked people, hey, what did the supreme court do? >> i don't know. >> it was the most widely covered decision according to media metrics since bush v. gore? what they found was 45% of
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adults had no idea what the court did. those numbers broke down into a majority of those people, thought they knew what the court did and said they opposed it. a smaller plurality said they didn't know. how much of the top down larger discourse that we have that treats politics as a game and a sport and a predictive project rather than siecivics. >> we forget the purpose of our public schools, to educate citizens for our democracy, to prepare people so they can function at our democracy. as you are indicating and as all the polls show and the research data show, we have done a terrible job of doing that. the majority of americans can't handle the basic civic truths of our life today. we have to stop and rethink what civic education looks like across the country in every school across the country.
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we have to say, what we are doing isn't working? we have to stop and reset. >> in one of the few places where dems and republicans have managed to find common ground has been around education reform. >> a lot of it makes my teeth itch in the back. there is a place that's been common ground. when you hear these stories, how does it resonate with what you are seeing in south carolina? >> the constitution was a big deal in the primaries. we saw people starting to carry a constitution. my little sister, who is a public school teacher and now works at a private school, talk se civics for about 17 years and the constitution and how important it is to the development of a child. back to education, that's my criticism from this election cycle from both candidates. we have heard very little on education. all about jobs, all about food stamps. education is getting ready to
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change drastically. i work for a school in ohio that educates 15,000 kids that never go into bricks and mortar. the largest graduating class in america, online learning. this is coming and coming at 100 miles an hour to help people that don't have people. >> yet it is interesting. asome point, i promise you and i are going to have a conversation about that online learning. seth's democracy prep feels like the sort of thing that can't happen online. i feel like there are all kinds of skills that you can pick up. part of what happens when you are sitting in a classroom with your friends singing, vote for obama or vote for romney, is a different kind of experience. >> they could handle any kind of educational tool that you put in that? >> they if they have great teaches. >> new technology helps us in harlem or whether it helps us in hilton head, south carolina. this presidential race has been devoid of big ideas on education. on both sides. >> the one thing i would say, i do think we can have a
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technological revolution on teaching. it isn't actually the case there hasn't been any discussing about teaching. there hasn't been enough. the facts are that mitt romney does have an education proposal. it is a very radical educational proposal. he proposes title one into a voucher program. that would dramatically undermine most have o our pib lick schools. he did that in the primary or towards the end of the primary. the president tried to make it more of an issue in the debates. it is one where when you are talking about what we need to do to compete over the 21st century, education is the area. we are in a global competition for having a high school workforce and not taking those resources out of the high school isn't the right thing. >> there was this point in the middle of the foreign policy debate where they began to have an education conversation. that was like, what is happening. up next, there are more than 25
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